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Literary essay topics: Major themes and motifs in 'Dubliners' by James Joyce
James Joyce was born in a middle-class family in Dublin, on February, 2, 1882. Although the family was thrown into difficult financial conditions soon after his birth, the writer attended prestigious school and received higher education in Dublin. Intending to get a degree if health care, he moved to Paris and switched to writing, so that his first collection of poetry, Chamber Music was published in 1907. Traveling around the world, the writer always had new impressions and write on different topics, mostly symbolist and psychological novels that implied a profound flow of consciousness.
Major thesis statements:
1) 'Dubliners' is in fact a collection of short stories, narrating about different Irish families.
2) The work was first published in 1914.
3) The first three stories, written from the first person, focus on the narrator's insights and perceptions.
4) Religion and the prison of routine are the most prevalent themes.
5) All short stories are written in tragic tone, with profound insight into grim realities.
Primary issues to discuss:
1) Analyze all short stories. Can you find any common theme or motif?
2) In which manner are daily routines described? Confirm your statements with quotations.
3) Think carefully which novels contain the desire for escape as key theme.
4) Epiphany in 'Dubliners': the burden of religious domination.
5) Who does the author describe such a huge number of everyday objects? Can they be viewed as symbols?
1) Ellmann, R. James Joyce. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.
2) Garrett, P., ed. Twentieth Century Interpretations of Dubliners: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1968.
- Continue by reviewing some general information on literary essays.
- Review brief summary on literary essay topics.
- Also, review additional topics for literary essays, including:
> brief description of the suggested literary essay topic;
> possible thesis statements for the essay;
> primary issues that can be discussed in the essay;
> some readings and sources suggested by our writers for the topic.
Selected topics for literary essay were split into two categories:
Charlotte Bronte, 'Jane Eyre'
'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen
20th century literature
'Dubliners' by James Joyce
'Fences' by August Wilson
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